Archive for January 2nd, 2015

exiles-blue-guitarI spent the better part of New Year’s Day in the studio going through bins and boxes filled with old papers and old work.  It’s part of a project that I will be going into more detail at a later date but it had me clawing through things that had long left my memory bank.  Some for good reason.

One bin was filled with my very earliest work from the time soon after my accident when I was making my first forays into art.   There was even a drawing made with my left hand ( I am right-handed and you can definitely see it in the drawing) from just a few days after the actual fall, one that I don’t even remember doing in any shape or form.  I hadn’t looked at this bin in many years and was surprised by much of the work.  Most of it was absolutely horrible and I found myself asking what I was seeing in it at that time that made me keep pushing forward.  It was muddy in color and rough in every way.  I could see nothing that linked this to the work that was to come.

But I must have been seeing something or at least sensing movement towards something because the work came in even greater bursts at the time.  I began to see how the work shifted with new discoveries and the color began to clear and brighten.  The lines became more confident and the forms more defined and organic.   I finally came to a point where I began to see my thought process from that time and could see that I was seeing the potential of the work but still didn’t know how to fully pull it out at that point.  I was still flailing in the dark, experimenting with colors and surfaces and materials with the hope that I would stumble on something that would let me express what I was sensing was there.

first-day-gc-myers-1994Eventually, there was a tipping point and everything came together with a singular focus.  This little piece on the right is what I consider that tipping point, the moment when I as a baby spoke my first words in my new voice.  I know it doesn’t seem like much here on the page but this painting at the time changed everything for me and it definitely shows in the work that followed.  I still get a charge of the sensation I felt when I first painted this piece whenever I look at it, knowing in that moment that my life was changing.

But the work before that moment, as I shuffled through it yesterday, left me convinced that the thing I was seeing in my mind at that point was strong enough to let push on through some pretty awful crap.  I was half tempted to put much of it in the burner and set a match to it.  But I couldn’t do it because, awful as it is, it served a great purpose for me.  I wouldn’t want to be judged on it just as I wouldn’t to be judged on my actions as child but it is part of me and led to better things.

Barely a year later I finished the piece at the top, Exile: Blue Guitar, which was part of a group of paintings that was the first series that I completed and was able to show publicly.  This was one of three pieces from that group that I sold and perhaps the piece I most regret letting go.  Looking at the other pieces from that series yesterday only made me wish to see this piece again, just to be able to closely examine it, to see how the years had changed how I might see it now.

So, this morning I sit here with stacks of old, terrible pieces around me– none of which I am willing to share with you– reminding me of a time when I was without voice and how differently I felt about everything as a result.   It made me all the more grateful for the life I now have.

And that made for a pretty good way to start the new year.


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